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My Year In Reflection

Susan takes a moment to look back on her teaching year and the big changes that have taken place. 

I started this academic year as a Head of Faculty full of motivation, enthusiasm and fantastic memories of travelling to Australia over the summer. After five days of being back at work, I had remembered how awful the school could be. Bullying from the highest level continued and that's when I decided there is more to life than trying to prove yourself to someone who just dislikes you. So I quit!

At that point I was unsure how the year would pan out. I had enough money to do some travelling but would need to get work from Easter at the latest. So after some time off to get my head around being 'unemployed' and feeling like I had no place in society, which I didn't like, I registered with some teaching agencies and started to plan some travelling. I also rented out my spare rooms so I had guaranteed money for bills and my house was looked after when away. Protocol Education were the first company to get me work and pretty much immediately after my DBS came through. I worked in a school for four weeks (the school I wrote about in my previous blog) until I went off on my first adventure to Peru to help at an orphanage in Cusco.

The supply work was challenging but after settling in I enjoyed just being a teacher again, no stresses of leadership issues or horrible bosses, despite the tampon chewing class! The trip to Peru was an amazing experience. The orphans were so grateful for little things such as clothing or even just your attention. Very humbling and I thoroughly enjoyed working there and was very sad to leave them behind. I was due back to the UK for a week before Christmas and even for that week I had work booked in. All these weeks of work were great experience but also helped pay the bills meaning I could travel even more than I initially thought. I then headed off to Iceland for two weeks to help on an environmental project and do some sightseeing.The northern lights on New Year's Day being a highlight. I met some amazing people there and hopefully lifelong friends.

Protocol Education again had work for me on my return. A two month placement in a girls school. My old school as a pupil as it happened and I had an absolute blast. Loved it and was sad that the placement came to an end. Again it made me love teaching again and know that if you work in a school you feel appreciated in then it's a wonderful job. The fact I had worked all the time I was in the UK meant I could travel beyond Easter, so everything panned out brilliantly. My last big adventure awaited at Easter and I was heading off to Nepal to teach English to village children and then trek to Everest base camp. I was out there when the disaster occurred and it was very sad to see the impact the deadly avalanche had. For many reasons a trip I will never forget, and even more amazing people and life long friends.

Upon my return it was the first time I hadn't got work booked in for a block. Less PE work around in the summer term as year 11 gained time and clearly less sickness in the summer meant schools just wanted me for a day at a time. This has been the toughest time in supply as so many different schools and procedures to get used to. There was not always supply required in my subject so I had general cover for the first time and the joys you get with that. It's also interview time for permanent posts next year. I have always been bad at interviews, I don't like to talk myself up which is ultimately what you need to do. I ended up applying for jobs I didn't want for various reasons such as distance and academy status, but felt I had to apply for to get a job.

Unsurprisingly I didn't get offered any of those jobs but I was getting interviews so my application is clearly strong. Finally this week I was offered two jobs, like buses hey! I took a years maternity cover so that I can settle back into a routine and look for a job I really can get my teeth into and be passionate about. I have had an amazing year, and still have a road trip around Europe in my campervan to look forward to.

Supply has taught me lots of new skills, given me new ideas and made me love teaching again. I am working most days up until the summer, but whilst I get the chance I often just take a day off, because I can! The bonus of supply teaching. This has been an awesome year and I wouldn't change it for anything. My advice to anyone, if you get the opportunity, go travelling, you won't regret it and there is always work for you on your return!

Susan is an experienced secondary teacher who is currently working a supply teacher with our Chelmsford branch.

Tags: SusanW, Chelmsford, Secondary

Category: Australian Teachers

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